In the movie Chicken Run, the chickens are not producing enough eggs so the owner, and also the villain, decides to buy a pie making machine. As you see in the first part of the graphic above and the video below, chickens go in and pies come out. The magazine in the film, inspires the villain in the movie to buy the pie maker. She believes this machine will turn her failing farm into a money making machine.
The Trap For Leaders
As a business owner striving for success, we can easily fall into the trap of seeing our team members as the chickens in this analogy. Team members go into our company, the pie machine, and out of it comes what we define as success or achievement. Money, power, fame, influence, are a few examples of how we measure our achievement.
In this mindset, the team is not a top priority and we can see them as a commodity making it really easy for us burn someone out knowing we can find someone else to take their place.
When we find ourselves resisting those leading us, let us direct our leaders with this one statement.
"Please, bring me along."
Instead of saying yes out of compliance or no out of reaction, ask to be brought along. Expect our leader to teach us what they know.
One of three things will happen. They will share what what they know and with our new found understanding, we'll want to follow their lead. Or, we will present what we know and they will realize why we're resisting and address the issue.
The third option is neither of us are brought along. At that point, we have to decide if the directive is a pothole
(not preferred, but can move forward), or a roadblock
(will not move forward until addressed) to determine how we proceed.
Helping a friend, family member or stranger go from where they are to where they want to be can be difficult and require a ton of energy. Heck, it could be hard to do this for ourselves!
Instead of facing this resistance, get clear on the vision
and help by mapping out the numerous micro-steps along the way. The smaller the steps, the easier it is to move forward.
It's best we check our intentions before we start since trust is key here. If we aren't trustworthy or lose it along the way, we might find ourselves back where we started.
This is a followup letter to the latest blog post I wrote, A Helpful Letter To The High Achieving Business Leader. I encourage you to read it as well.
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Dear Passionate Follower,
You have done well, and your contribution with your organization has been valuable. You are in good standing in the organization, and your organization is in good standing across the industry. You have spent so much time working hard, it seems you missed the fact that your organization is lapping competitors in the space you run. Your organization is looked up to as an authority by competitors and is “punching above its weight class”.
My challenge to you is, focus on becoming a better leader. Think about how to communicate better, how to be proactive, and how to take responsibility. Prioritize learning, reflecting and growing as a person. Build it into your work rhythms.
Let us lead by example. Model for those who follow us. Focus on ourselves and not others. If we see our leaders not leading the way we believe they ought to be, we ought to be leading in that way ourselves as a model to them and our team. Let the CEO be inspired by the example we set before him, and let us not be disturbed or offended when our accomplishments and activities are challenged or threatened.